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Internet cooperation called for when surfing a Web of uncertainty

By HAN LEI (China Daily USA) Updated: 2015-09-24 11:37

Internet cooperation called for when surfing a Web of uncertainty

"Coffee or tea?"

It's a choice I would have to make during a Western-style meal. The two vastly different drinks actually have many things in common, and co-exist for many years. I like both.

It is the same case with China and the US in terms of developing Internet industries and enhancing cybersecurity. The two countries have to put aside conflicts and differences and seek common ground.

As a third-time attendee of the US-China Internet Forum, I found this year's gathering in Seattle is unprecedented, in media limelight, number of industry big names present at the one-day event, and most importantly, the appearance of a state leader, President Xi Jinping.

Lu Wei, head of China's Internet policy, used an ancient Chinese anecdote to illustrate that China and the US are in the same boat in facing up to the unknown risks and challenges in developing Internet industries. Neither can survive alone, Lu said.

Amid the high waves of Internet technology, the US and China are embarking on an untapped voyage full of uncertainties, risks and challenges, Lu said in his speech.

"We have to trust each other," Lu said. "We have to solve our problems through development. We have to dissolve our differences through cooperation."

The forum is kind of an Internet gala with prominent names in both countries, including, from China, Baidu CEO Robin Li, Alibaba founder Jack Ma, and Tencent CEO Pony Ma, and from the US, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, among others.

The Chinese participants expressed their wish to tap the US market, while their American counterparts were eager to introduce diversified services and ideas to Chinese users.

With a theme of "mutual trust, mutual benefit, cooperation and win-win", the forum saw the two delegations share their views on big data, cloud computing and mutual cyber trust. An honest talk is the only way to tackle sensitive cyber issues.

The US is the birthplace of the Internet, while China is the world's largest Internet market and a gold mine for US Internet enterprises. More than 2,500 US information and technology enterprises have invested in China. Some of them have even gained more profits than they did at home.

With an early entry to China in 1992, Microsoft, host of the forum, has been profiting ever since from China's robust Internet market. Harry Shum, executive vice-president of Microsoft, said that by bringing together the industries, government, NGOs and thought leaders, the two countries can realize the economic and societal benefits.

Liu Qiangdong, CEO of China's, a Beijing-based direct sales company, said Internet companies in the two countries have long been cooperating on capital, technology, human resources and market exploration.

"Through cooperation and mutual trust, we can realize a complementarity in resources," Liu added.

Coffee or tea? I would like to try both.

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